Blue pills in Blue House: Leader explains Vi­a­gra

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

A cou­ple walks on paint­ings crit­i­cis­ing South Korean Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye on a street in Seoul, South Korea, on Wed­nes­day. SEOUL (AP): RES­I­DENT PARK Ge­unhye’s of­fice on Wed­nes­day con­firmed rev­e­la­tions by

Pan op­po­si­tion law­maker that it pur­chased about 360 erec­tiledys­func­tion Vi­a­gra pills and its generic ver­sion in De­cem­ber.

While the re­port has cre­ated a frenzy on the In­ter­net, Park’s of­fice said the pills were bought to po­ten­tially treat alti­tude sick­ness for pres­i­den­tial aides and em­ploy­ees on Park’s May trips to Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya, whose cap­i­tals are one to two kilo­me­tres (0.6 to 1.2 miles) above sea level.

The pills were not used, said Jung Youn-kuk, a Blue House spokesman. South Korean doc­tors some­times pre­scribe Vi­a­gra-style drugs to climbers be­cause they are be­lieved to be ef­fec­tive in pre­vent­ing alti­tude sick­ness.

The pres­i­den­tial of­fice also pur­chased a va­ri­ety of in­jec­tion drugs used for fa­tigue and an­ti­ag­ing treat­ment, ac­cord­ing to the of­fice of law­maker Kim Sanghee. Park’s spokesman ex­plained that the pres­i­den­tial of­fice pur­chases drugs for the pres­i­dent’s en­tire staff, in­clud­ing se­cu­rity of­fi­cers.

The Vi­a­gra rev­e­la­tion is the lat­est twist in a mas­sive political scan­dal build­ing around Park.

Park is brac­ing for an im­peach­ment push by op­po­si­tion par­ties and some mem­bers of her own Saenuri Party amid al­le­ga­tions that she let a se­cre­tive con­fi­dante ma­nip­u­late gov­ern­ment af­fairs and amass an il­licit for­tune, a scan­dal crit­ics say un­der­mines the coun­try’s democ­racy.

LONG­TIME FRIEND

On Sun­day, pros­e­cu­tors said they be­lieve Park was in­volved in the crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties of her long­time friend, Choi Soon-sil, and two pres­i­den­tial aides who al­legedly bul­lied com­pa­nies into giv­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars to foun­da­tions and busi­nesses Choi con­trolled, and that she also en­abled Choi to in­ter­fere in state af­fairs.

Pros­e­cu­tors have in­dicted Choi and the two for­mer pres­i­den­tial aides. Park’s of­fice has de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions and re­fused mul­ti­ple at­tempts by pros­e­cu­tors to in­ter­ro­gate her in per­son, al­though say­ing she will oblige to an in­de­pen­dent probe by a spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor.

The Seoul Cen­tral District Pros­e­cu­tors’ Of­fice said in­ves­ti­ga­tors were sent on Wed­nes­day to an of­fice used by the se­nior pres­i­den­tial sec­re­tary for civil af­fairs to se­cure doc­u­ments and other ev­i­dence. The search is ap­par­ently aimed at Woo Byung-woo, Park’s for­mer civil af­fairs sec­re­tary, who has been ac­cused of fail­ing to pre­vent Choi from in­flu­enc­ing state af­fairs and has been em­broiled in sep­a­rate cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions sur­round­ing his fam­ily.

Choi Jai-kyeong, Park’s cur­rent sec­re­tary for civil af­fairs, and Jus­tice Min­is­ter Kim Hyun­woong have of­fered to re­sign as the fall­out from the scan­dal con­tin­ues to grow. Park has yet to de­cide whether to ac­cept their res­ig­na­tions, the Blue House said Wed­nes­day.

PHOTO BY AP/AHN YOUNG-JOON

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